Healing the World

A Cuba Testimony

Growing up, I was taught to live by and hold high the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Service. But I also always felt the influence of another important testimony – Environmental Caretaking. While this testimony may fall under several of the traditional Quaker testimonies listed above, it also holds a power strong enough to stand on its own.

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Reconciliation in Eastern Africa

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?

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Voluntary Poverty Has to Be a Choice

I have read quite a few articles recently about “green” living, reducing footprints, and sustainability. None of them have mentioned one of the greatest ways of creating positive change in the world. Voluntary poverty is a far more fundamental and effective way to decrease consumption and impact, while increasing human connection and improving life all around.

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Public Banking – Friendly Values

Quakers introduced public banking to the original colony of Pennsylvania, helping the colony prosper. North Dakota created its public bank in 1919, and is currently the only state to own its own bank. There are public banking efforts in more than thirty states, many of them in the west (Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and my own State of New Mexico).

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The Price of Lettuce

So yesterday, a lady comes to our produce table at the local Farmer’s Market, hefts one of our football-sized sweet potatoes, and asks, “How much?”

“Six dollars, ma’am,” I reply. “Three pounds at two dollars a pound.”

“It’s so expensive!!”

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Sticking Out Like Sore Thumbs

Given that Quakers don’t like to use violent words like “kill,” we use euphemisms instead.  So the current trend among Quakers to euthanize our Peace and Social Concerns Committees is one that I will call the “Shelver Movement.” We have spent countless hours in recent years trying to lay these committees down, but we end up “shelving” them instead.

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Raising Quaker Voices about Race

When I was in high school, some friends and I snuck into a neighborhood swimming pool that was closed after dark. We tried to keep quiet, but we were having too much fun, and a neighbor called the cops. An officer showed up and calmly asked us to please leave, which we did. Those friends and I are white.

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